Cumberland Times-News

June 5, 2008

Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan

David Sandvick, Columnist

My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

I thought maybe an owl, but they're so hard to come by. Then I remembered that in my shed I have many molded plastic garden animals. I searched for the meanest looking ones from a rabbit's perspective. The best I could come up with was a small duck, two squirrels, and a turtle.

I strategically placed them in my raised bed as if to guard the plants and scare off any grazing furry little animals. With a sense of pride and overwhelming superior intelligence, I marveled at my ingenuity.

That was when it occurred to me that I put a turtle in my garden to scare away a rabbit. I can't believe I made this blunder. All the literature I've read suggests that, although the rabbit and turtle don't get along, they certainly can co-exist quite comfortably. At least long enough to run a race.

I can just imagine this rabbit thinking to himself, "That turtle's not going to stop me. I can run circles around him." I envision this rabbit zipping in the garden, quickly munching a leaf, then using the turtle's back like a step ladder to reach the higher stuff.

It's important to remember that Christians also have a natural enemy. It is Satan. The Bible teaches that he roams about like a lion looking to devour people. The way we deal with that natural enemy is to fortify ourselves with the word of God and God's spirit. A good church can help you have victory over your natural enemy.

As for my garden, I'm also giving the turtle a sign that says "Wabbit Season." I just hope the rabbit doesn't replace it with one that says "Duck Season." If he does, it could be a long summer.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.